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LIC Residents to Hire Private Security Guards to Combat Crime on the Hunters Point Waterfront

Obi Onyeador (Unsplash)

Aug. 21, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Enough is enough, according to a number of Long Island City residents.

A group of residents are so fed up with the high levels of anti-social behavior along the Hunters Point waterfront that they are hiring a private security firm to patrol the area.

The group says that crowds of young men and women have been descending on Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunters Point South Park all summer and taking part in drug and booze-fueled rave parties that last throughout the night.

Meanwhile, other delinquents, they say, race quad bikes and motorcycles inside the parks, through the streets and along sidewalks.

Last week a group of around 45 residents came together and made the decision to hire a security firm to tackle the problem. The group wants the security officers to deter crowds from congregating.

The security officers will patrol the walkway outside both parks in September and October, according to resident and organizer Yolanda Tristancho. The group hopes that their presence will be enough to stop rabble-rousers from coming to the parks when they close at 10 p.m.

 

“Things have gotten so bad that people have moved out of the area,” Tristancho said. “We feel we have no other action but to take this into our own hands.”

Tristancho said that the quality of life for residents living in the neighborhood has deteriorated and the area has become dangerous.

“Before you could go for a nice walk along the waterfront in the late evening but it’s just not safe anymore,” she said.

She said that the local police precinct doesn’t have the resources to constantly patrol the area.

Tristancho said that her group is hiring two security officers who will work from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.

They will be unarmed and will carry flashlights. They have no real authority– other than to call the police if things get out of hand.

The cost for the security will be around $1,500 per week and the group is asking residents to pitch in via a Go Fund Me page which was set up Wednesday. The page has raised over $1,100 so far.

The group has also approached the big real estate companies that own adjacent buildings to see if they would contribute.

Empty alcohol bottles and plastic cups left over from a party (Photo provided by Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page)

Mark Christie, a 23-year resident and the vice president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, said the current situation is unacceptable and residents have been let down by the police and local politicians.

“We have been calling the police for four months about this carry-on and they only started coming down in the last few weeks,” Christie said. “We haven’t seen any politicians.”

Christie said that organized rave parties have been taking place on the streets at the southern end of Hunters Point South and people have been consuming alcohol and taking drugs.

“There were hundreds of people there last Friday night and it was the loudest music you ever heard,” Christie said.

He said that the streets and parks are left covered with empty alcohol bottles, plastic cups, and food waste. He said that illegal fireworks – which plagued residents earlier this summer– have been going off again in the area.

Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page

Christie, who attended last week’s meeting, thinks the security personnel will help the situation and hopes they will co-ordinate with the police.

He said that restaurants — which are already struggling with COVID-19 restrictions – are also being impacted by the turmoil and need help.

The trash and unruly behavior is putting customers off going to nearby restaurants at night time, he said.

“How can you have outdoor dining with all this going on in our streets?” he said. “Parents are afraid to come with their kids and seniors are being scared off too.”

The HPPC volunteer said there has also been an increase in the number of homeless people flocking to the area and parts of the boardwalk have also been vandalized with graffiti.

“It’s just one thing after another,” Christie said.

“Something has to be done.”

Graffiti along the LIC waterfront. (Provided by Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page)

Provided by Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page

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37 Comments

Click for Comments 
ralph

Maybe if the 108th did their jobs we wouldn’t have this problem. But their feelings are hurt because ppl called them out for being the thugs that they are. Their answer should be to turn in the bad apples, and there are many, but instead they will enable the problem by doing a work slow down.

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you get what you give

maybe if you supported them instead of denigrating them they would be more inclined to help…but self righteous finger wagging should solve the problem…progress!!

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Robert M.

Gantry Plaza State Park is policed by the state, Hunter’s Point South Park is policed by the NYC Parks Enforcement Patrol. Good luck.

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Mayor debullshitto

108pct right by the waterfront and still need guards? Damn that says a lot about the 108pct

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ABoondy

why should the cops lift a finger? so they can be attacked again by the group? private security isnt as nice as cops. they do what they have to do to clean up the situation, by any means necessary.

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Because they are police?

Their only job is to protect and serve. Do you understand what the executive branch does?

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Samantha

My friends granddaughter friend wanted to have a micro wedding by the waterfront but she said its too dirty and unsafe. Maybe now she can have a wedding and ask the security to walk her to the waterfront.

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Claire

This is so needed. I would tip them to help me unload groceries and walk my dog if they agreed. They are here for the community.

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Toni

My local supermarket hired a security guard. I lived here for over 10 years and this is the first time i saw a security guard at the market.

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Private patrol

San Francisco has had private policing for over 100 years. Detroit now has private policing after the city went bankrupt. Private policing is best. You pay for crime prevention and situation diffusion not NYPD for crime response and paperwork pushing. Don’t beg for NYPD to come back hire private police!

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Real NYKr

The LIC strip should be closed off the same way they closed the Astoria strip. To save our neighborhood from ppl that are not from the area but come to vandalize and destroy. They leave their crappy area and come destroy more affluent areas because they can.

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Sunnysideposthatesme

Not from the Area? the water front is public property. You were theone to move into the city thinking this little slice of land was yours. Welcome to reality.. been waiting years for this. You don’t get special treatment. you’re gonna deal with the same damn stuff we all deal with. That’s the real New York

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Real NYKr

Like the handle says REAL.NEW.YORKER 36YRS. Just because it’s public doesn’t mean the public has good intent to keep things right. Been a part of the area before developers discovered it. If trash comes to a nice area…the nice area turns to trash.

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Greg

Agree that NYPD literally does nothing regarding the motor vehicle violations and fireworks. I had to call FDNY at 4am because the tall grasses were on fire. Just a police car presence would be effective. Don’t need heavy funding for that! They put more care into barricading the precinct by blocking sidewalks with their cars.

The garbage is just a consequence of a popular park. The park workers do a great job cleaning up every morning.

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Susan

The garbage is a consequence of a popular park? No one taught them to throw their garbage in the trash or take it with them when they leave. That’s the problem,

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#wheresjimmy?

How much do you want to bet that, for the most part, it is not the local residents leaving the trash and graffiti? The Mayor let it be known that it is now a “free for all” so this is the result. I am waiting for Mac and other fools to argue that broken windows policing does not matter. And yes, those two new lovely Dem “district leaders” probably also think that trash and graffiti mean nothing to the quality of life.

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Observer

The commjnity thinks two guards with flshlights will help? Where did they live befor Mayberry??? This will get the guards beaten or killed.

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Gardens Watcher

I don’t blame the residents of LIC for hiring their own security. Sad it has come to this.

JVB wants to defund the police and didn’t think the latest budget went far enough to do that.

The 108th has to cover all areas in the precinct, so call his office and ask why there’s not enough cops to cover us all. The Gardens wants to know too.

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Real NYKr

VanB is getting ready to write a strong speech for more bike lanes near the 59th St bridge. So he is in the area…just not where it matters. As always.

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Jackie

So the same people who were marching to defund the police are now hiring security. Hysterical!! Same thong happened in Astoria. They marched with them up and down steinway then a month later were calling 311 and elected officials to get them off the streets and shut down restaurants and bars. We all saw the social media posts of the party goers and the young residents complaining.

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Owen

This is terrible to see and this sort of crime is on the up tick. Our politicians voted to defund the police and more or less abolish the bail system. These same politicians want to try and make people do 500 hours of training to wash hair in a hair salon. Sadly it’s time not to vote for the democrats a change of power is needed. Time the people come first.

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Charles Bronson

You voted for this New York.

When you vote democrat, you vote for high crime and low quality of life.

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Mac

When you vote Republican you vote for low wages, less access to healthcare, tax breaks for the wealthy and the financial undermining of the social security system. Republican states are highest in crime according to FBI Statistics and highest in poverty.
US News and World Report After analyzing all 50 U.S. states, here are the 10 poorest states in America for 2020:
Mississippi
New Mexico
Louisiana
West Virginia
Alabama
Kentucky
South Carolina
Arkansas
Tennessee
North Carolina

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